Believe me I give five stars only when they are fully deserved. This is a must read for anyone with the slightest interest in badgers, and also for all naturalists. This has been one of the most 'readable' New Naturalist editions I have come across and it is packed with quality illustrations in the form of photographs and diagrams. If like me you struggle to fully understand the complex issues of Bovine Tuberculosis then you will I think find that the last chapter of the book will clarify the issues in a very balanced manner, be it only up to 2010, the date of publication. A wonderful book.
The book contains the very latest research on this fascinating animal. It is full of interesting facts and it is superbly illustrated throughout. There is no comparable book currently in print. I highy recommend it.
This is a really excellent work, covering almost every aspect of badger biology and behaviour. Although it's academically rigorous, it is always accessible. The writing is clear and unclotted, even when the subject matter becomes technical. Occasionally Prof Roper makes a personal aside which brings the text to life - without which the book would be a little dry. I was amused by one side issue - Prof. Roper has a number of little digs at the other great badger expert, a certain Hans Kruuk ... adds a little bite to the proceedings. Anyway, this is a beautifully produced work of synthesis, and a must for anyone who wants to know everything worth knowing about one of our most charismatic animals. (For what it's worth, anyone researching badgers will, obviously, start with the internet, but 99% of the information in this book cannot be found online - there really is not alternative to buying/borrowing this book.)
It is 14 years since the last comparable book on badgers (Neal and Cheeseman, 1996) was published, and that this one is considerably larger reflects the great amount of research that has been carried out since that time. The book is divided into ten chapters, plus an appendix on how to survey for the species. The issue of badger culling is not avoided, indeed badgers and bovine TB gets a whole chapter to itself. The author manages to explain the pros and cons of the various approaches. For example, innoculating cows is obviously easier than innoculating badgers, but available vaccines are more effective on badgers than they are on cows.
Many years ago the New Naturalist series included a second series of monographs on single species. A book on badgers was the first of the monographs, just as the species is the first to get a book to itself in the main series. If further books on a single species can keep up this high standard I am sure that 'Badger' will not be the last time the publishers take this approach.
I approached this book not as a mammal specialist but out of a layman's curiosity, because, judging by the amount of sign visible, Badgers are common around my home and I thus wanted to know something of their lifestyle.
Professor Roper has skilfully synthesized a large amount of research and turned it into a clearly written and fascinating book. All aspects of the Badger's natural history (including such subjects as classification and diet/foraging behaviour) are clearly presented, while the final (tenth) chapter discusses the thorny issues of bovine TB and Badger culling. There is even an appendix on how to survey Badgers.
My only criticism concerns the Bibliography (though it's a criticism which to some may seem picky). For those books or papers with more than two authors, only the lead author is listed (thus for three or more it would be e.g. `Roper et al.'). For anyone interested in doing their own research, it would be much more useful to have all references listed in full.
In short, if you have any interest in Badgers or the natural history of the countryside, buy this book.
I love this book. It's comprehensive, whilst easy enough to read as a leisure book as well as useful for scientific research. I study badgers and whilst using this to write my thesis I can confess to not wanting to put it down at bedtime. A great book which covers basic knowledge and more in depth, up to date, scientific research on badgers. Fascinating, and well worth the money. It also has lots of pictures and diagrams which make it rather pleasant to look at.
Badgers have always had a place in my heart - even though I've never seen one in the flesh. What this book does is bring the badgers to you in a reader-friendly way. It covers everything you need to know about this wonderful creature (in my view, it should be our national animal - Britain's, that is). It's not cheap, but neither is the work that has gone into it. The quality of the materials used in the book's construction is also top notch. If you want to know about badgers, bite the bullet and buy it. You won't regret it.
About as complete a review of the natural history of the badger as you can find. I also found it was written in a style that could be followed by a reasonably informed amateur. If you want to know about badgers, this is a great book to buy. The only caveat I would add is that it is quite lengthy (not a problem in my view) but be aware this is not a 'short introduction' of a book, it is a serious academic study. That said I'm very glad I bought it.
This is a book that contains everything one would ever need to know about badgers. It is highly interesting and full of factual information. It is well written and illustrated to make enthrawling reading. One of the best books I have read for a very long time.